BOOM-co.com Drives Outdoor Play Through Online Engagement Details
We created a new way for boys to play with blasters in the digital age.
BOOMco.™ is a new product in the blaster market that has some never-before-seen features: a proprietary sticky target system and blaster capabilities that blow competitors out of the water. We had to inspire digitally savvy boys (aged 7 to 10), who traditionally keep online and offline play separate, while communicating the brand’s complex, high-energy look and feel in a way that enhanced both the online and offline experiences. To introduce the blaster, we created an immersive online experience to explain the product’s features and get boys hooked on a new way to play. We did it with a series of high-energy videos and content that explain the products in a fun way and that challenge boys to join in the fun. We also developed an interactive printables feature that allows boys to customize their own targets to print at home and play with outside. The home page and products section feature interactive animations and infographics activated by scroll in a parallax fashion. Please note: BOOMco. products are being launched worldwide in summer 2014. Some website features and content are currently in testing and development for rollout across all markets.
Along with the usual challenges that come with designing for a younger set of core users, BOOMco. wanted to redefine what it means to blast with high-energy content and engaging applications. We took a complex brand identity, developed a “moving” grid with embedded videos and animations, and brought it all to life with a simple and intuitive interface that keeps boys focused on the content and encouraged behaviors needed to convert them to BOOMco. Through careful planning, we first prototyped a simple content grid to keep website actions and tasks simplified and directed. We then infused interactive features such as scroll-based animations, parallax and clickable Easter eggs to keep boys excited, engaged and looking for more. Through rounds of user testing and interviews, we were able to optimize the grid to focus on just the right amount of content and interactions to keep boys moving through the site while increasing time on the site. Additionally, changing content and display needs across 32 local markets required us to create a dynamic navigation system that grew and shrank according to different needs. To accomplish this, we created an anchored navigation that minimized upon scroll and was designed to house a varying degree of taxonomy depending on the local market. Each market had unique content needs, rules and rollout schedules. So we built the site architecture in a way that allowed for iterative additions to features and functionality, while maintaining a single CMS and website code base, along with a flattened navigational structure that was ideal for our younger users. We were also met with a unique challenge from the client: Match the brand’s tilt angle used for media and print assets. Through experimentation, prototyping and user testing, we were able to determine the optimal viewing angle at 4 degrees for all assets (text, images, games, short vs. long videos). We implemented it across the website in a way that bolsters the brand and that keeps usability as the primary focus. This project had a complex mix of UX/UI challenges, which were solved through the perfect balance of features: - Infusing a complex, high-energy grid design with a simple, intuitive interface - A standard and fixed navigation simple enough for a 7-year-old boy to use, but flexible enough for content serving 32 local markets - Engaging boys with online content and applications while ultimately driving them to play outside - Pioneering unique, immersive interactions without being distracting or interruptive - A revolutionary 4-degree grid to display high-energy content, while keeping the user comfortable and maintaining usability The resulting product was a spectacular showcase of brand content, each part delivered in an elegant yet entertaining way, forming a unique experience that boys love and will not forget.